By Michael Dean
Little did Jack and Ann know when their first son was born in 1958, second son in 1960 and third son in 1991, that they would form a dynasty in their father’s profession. Jack was Jack Ogle, and the three sons are Kevin, Kent and Kelly. And Kevin’s daughter, Abigail, has become the third generation Ogle in Oklahoma City television news and sports.
Jack Ogle was a longtime Oklahoma City radio and television broadcaster. He worked at WNAD (now WWLS), then the University of Oklahoma-owned radio station, and in the late 1950s he worked at KNOR, Norman with Bob Barry. Among other duties there, the two announced Norman High School football and basketball games. Besides sports, Jack’s real interest was news. In 1961 he joined the news department at WKY Radio, and a year later he began working in the news department at WKY-TV (now KFOR-TV.) By the mid-1960s he was the 6 and 10 o’clock anchor on WKY-TV, a position he held into the ‘80s. In 1962 Jack joined his longtime friend Bob Barry Sr. as the color analyst on OU football broadcasts. In his later years in Oklahoma City, he did commentaries on KWTV and KOCO-TV. He retired to Sallisaw in the 1990s and had a weekly hunting and fishing show on KFM-TV in Fort Smith. He died in 1999 at the age of 68.
The three Ogle sons originally had other ambitions and interests; none grew up dreaming of a career in broadcasting. Kevin, the oldest and tallest at 6-foot-8, played basketball at Edmond Memorial High School.Upon graduation, he was offered a scholarship to play at Kansas State University. He didn’t much like the head basketball coach, Jack Hartman, who had been there for many years, but did like Hartman’s assistant and former K-State player Lon Kruger. After one year, he transferred to Oklahoma State University. He started as a business major … but then he looked at his dad.
“Dad was gainfully employed, he really loved all he was doing, he was respected in his chosen career and by the public, and I began thinking maybe I should try the same thing,” said Kevin. “I knew the pitfalls, and I changed my major to radio/television.”
Kevin’s career began at KOCO-TV where, because of his having been an athlete, he was a sports photographer and video editor. He then moved to Chickasha and worked at KWCO radio as a DJ and did play-by-play of Chickasha High School games.
“It was a great station and I had a great time working there, but I decided that television was what I wanted to do.” Kevin moved a little further southwest to Lawton and worked at KSWO-TV for about a year.
“I really learned a lot at channel 7 (KSWO-TV.)I shot my own stories, edited the video, wrote my own scripts; in a year I’d done every job in the TV newsroom. You learn so much in small-market stations because you have to do everything, and you realize what other people are doing,which helps in building relationships with everyone you work with. It was a great experience.”
From Lawton, Kevin was hired at channel 4 in Oklahoma City.
“I was a general assignment reporter and worked my dad’s old station for four years. Then I moved to Fort Smith to work at KFSM-TV.”
From Fort Smith, Kevin was hired at channel 4 as a general assignment reporter in 1993. Three years later, he was promoted to weeknight anchor.
Kevin working at the Fort Smith TV station would directly lead to his brothers getting their first jobs in television.
Number two son, Kent, was really interested in music. He played in several bands around Oklahoma City, singing and playing bass guitar, which led him to working as a radio DJ. When the Marriott Hotel opened on Northwest Highway, Kent was hired as the DJ in the hotel nightclub, Russell’s.
“That nightclub quickly became the most profitable nightclub at any Marriott in the chain,” Kent explained. “The company flew me to a number of their hotels around the country as a consultant to advise their nightclubs on what we did to make the Oklahoma City location so successful.”
While Kent wasalso at an FM rock station in Oklahoma City, “… the news guy didn’t show up for work one day, so I had to do the news. I really enjoyed that, and that was what changed the direction I was going in,” Kent said.
Kent’s radio career took him to stations in Duncan and El Reno, and then landed at KSWO Radio/TV in Lawton. It was there he gained the same experience his older brother had a couple of years earlier.
While Kevin was working in Fort Smith, Kent visited him and asked him to help put together an audition video tape. That tape landed in the hands of Bill Thrash, longtime Oklahoma City television production executive at OETA. Bill called Kent and offered him a job.
“That resulted in two years of travel across Oklahoma hosting and producing the feature ‘On The Oklahoma Road.’ I loved doing that feature, traveling every corner of our state and meeting fascinating people. I was pretty busy because I was also reporting for ‘Business Oklahoma,’ Outdoor Oklahoma’ and ‘Oklahoma Magazine.’”
Kent also produced and syndicated “The Senate Minute” radio show on 25 radio stations around the state.
Kent was hired at Channel 4 as a general assignment reporter in 1993, and was soon promoted to weekday morning and noon news anchor.
The youngest Ogle, Kelly, was the one son who was interested in the news business as a student at Edmond Memorial High School, where he took a journalism class his junior year, and majored in radio/television at Oklahoma State University. He began anchoring newscasts on the university station KOSU, and after graduation was hired to work in the news department at WKY radio.
“One of the things my dad did that really made an impression on me happened when I was around 8 years old. One night the tornado sirens in Edmond went off, and dad threw me in the back of the car and began driving around looking for the tornado. I was really scared, but he was excited, and I kind of caught that excitement. It’s a memory I’ll always have,” Kelly said.
“It was at KOSU that I was reporting, writing and anchoring under the mentorship of Keith Swezey. He was a wonderful teacher. Keith had worked in the business for many years before he moved to education. He had been a newsman at KOMA and was assistant news director at WKY with news director Jim Palmer when they had one of the best radio news departments in the nation.”
After several years in radio news, Kelly drove to Fort Smith and asked brother Kevin to help him put together an audition video tape.
That tape again landed in the hands of Bill Thrash at OETA, who was looking for a replacement for Kent Ogle, who had left to work as a general assignment reporter at Channel 4.
“I loved doing the ‘On The Oklahoma Road’ show. That may be why I named my four children for four of the towns I did stories on for the show. Bill Thrash was one of the really great people in our business, and having had the opportunity to work for him has meant a lot to me,” said Kelly.
After a year at OETA, Kelly left for Channel 4 as a general assignment reporter, and in 1990 he was hired as a news anchor at KWTV.
“I am often asked if being the son of Jack Ogle has helped us get the jobs we have. My thought is that the Ogle name may have opened some doors, but it also has set the bar higher for us. People in the broadcasting business expect more from us than they might from someone without a ‘name,’” said Kelly.
All three brothers credit both their mother and their dad for their success.
“Mother (Ann) worked at the State Senate for a number of years, then she worked for the Oklahoma Historical Society running the bookstore in the old building. Dad was covering news, and would tell us we were witnessing history in the making. That has given us a real appreciation for Oklahoma history. And both parents gave us an appreciation for public service. We saw all that both mother and dad did for various community organizations and events,” said Kent. “We all still carry the love of our state and love of working to make our city and state better just as mother and dad did.”
“When we get together, we don’t talk shop. But we do trade funny stories about people and things happening at our stations,” said Kelly.
“Of the three of us, I think Kevin has had the most influence in our careers,” Kent said. “He helped Kelly and me with our audition tapes, with which we both landed TV jobs at OETA,” Kent added.
“People often are confused as to which Ogle we are when they see one of us at the grocery store. There have been several Saturdays when Kent would be dressed for yard work, and go to a home improvement store. There, someone would come up to him and ask which Ogle he is, and his response would be ‘I’m Kelly,’” said Kelly laughing.
After graduating from Edmond Memorial High School in 2006, Abby went on to get a degree in journalism with an emphasis on sports media from the University of Oklahoma in 2010. Until joining KOCO 5 as a sports reporter and anchor, Abby hosted a daily half-hour sports program on KSBI-TV and covering local and regional sporting events. Abby’s special interest has always been the athletes, coaches, families and fans that make sports so compelling. She goes beyond the scores and highlights to really bring sports to life.
Since joining KOCO 5, Abby recently reported from the Cotton Bowl – she revealed the preparations that go into painting the field for the big OU-Texas game, the heated/cooled benches only on the Sooner side of the field, and even gave us a peek into the locker room to be used by the Sooners.
Abby’s father, Kevin, works as a news anchor for rival KFOR. She laughingly admits that every Oklahoma City news station except Fox 25 has an Ogle working at the station.
Following in the family tradition of community service, Abby devotes much of her free time to help support such charitable organizations as Special Olympics, Make-A-Wish, Relay for Life and several animal rescue and adoption organizations.
“As one of her uncles, I am really proud of Abby. She has approached this business the same way we did. She works as hard or harder to be as good as or better than the three of us,” added Kelly.
Bottom line is, all three Ogle sons worked their way into their jobs as TV anchors in Oklahoma City, while Abigail is making a name for herself as a sports reporter. And because their last name is Ogle, those at their stations expect more from them than from other newscasters.